Thursday, March 17, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BAYARD RUSTIN Today, he would have celebrated his 99th Birthday

Bayard Rustin at news briefing on the Civil Rights March on Washington in the Statler Hotel, half-length portrait, seated at table - August 27, 1963

Bayard Rustin (March 17, 1912 – August 24, 1987) was an American civil rights activist, important largely behind the scenes in the civil rights movement of the 1960s and earlier. He is credited as the chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

He counseled Martin Luther King, Jr. on the techniques of nonviolent resistance. He became an advocate on behalf of gay and lesbian causes in the latter part of his career. Homosexuality was criminalized at the time, which made him a target of suspicion and compromised some of his effectiveness.

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